California residents have a new tool for getting rid of unwanted calls from telemarketers. Starting today, they can pre-register for a free list that will keep their home and cell phone numbers off limits for 5 years starting in October. Telemarketing firms will have to purchase the national “Do Not Call” registry every three months, and update their records within 30 days.
If they call a registered number, they could be fined up to $11,000 dollars. Most telemarketers will be covered by the list. Federal and state law exempts charities, political groups, small businesses and companies with an existing relationship to the customer.
The registry´s proponents say it will reduce headaches for both consumers and businesses.